Exposé Online banner

Cheer-Accident — No Ifs, Ands or Dogs
(Cuneiform Rune 326, 2011, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2013-04-01

No Ifs, Ands or Dogs Cover art

This is one of those reviews that won't write itself. Not that reviews ever really write themselves, but some albums I listen to and know what I want to say. Not this time. First off, I love this CD. It easily made my best of 2011 list, and in my book 2011 was a great year for creative music. That a band can make such a wildly interesting album after being at it so long (15+ releases in 15+ years) says a lot about their vision and talent. 2009's Fear Draws Misfortune rates very highly for me, and this one is right up there, tied (or nearly tied) for their best yet. The tracks are mostly on the short side — none pass the five minute mark, and there are a few under one minute — but there is a kind of flow to the album as a whole. Individual tracks can be singled out — several have made it into my phone's shuffle list — but taking the entire 48 minutes in creates the impression of a bigger picture, even if what exactly it represents is unclear. Cheer-Accident, unlike my cat, just refuses to sit in a box. The closest comparison is probably to American RIO-influenced bands like Thinking Plague, though Cheer-Accident seems to come at it from a different angle, like a more mainstream rock band that fell in love with complex musical structures. "Barely Breathing" is a good example, with its lovely falsetto lead voice and lush backing vocals. But then there are the horn parts, which fit perfectly from a musical standpoint but are well outside what you'd expect to hear on a typical indie-rock song. The next tune is "Life in Pollyanna," which jumps in with a complicated guitar riff and shifting meters underpinning another melodic vocal part, maybe like what Gentle Giant tried to do on The Missing Piece. Which, come to think of it, is a good comparison. No Ifs, Ands or Dogs has that same bright, energetic sound to it, with arrangements based on polyphony rather than riffs and chords. Somehow, Cheer-Accident manages to make it work. (Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Gentle Giant fan, and even The Missing Piece has some great stuff on it, but I wouldn't call it a great album.) This is a great example of small-p progressive music that has very little of the large-P in it.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 40, 2011 releases

Related artist(s): Cheer-Accident

Latest news

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more

2017-10-18
Phil Miller RIP – Sad word reaches us today of the passing of another of the great musicians of the Canterbury Scene — guitarist Phil Miller. His distinctive sound added greatly to Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North, and National Health, and he also contributed to albums by Caravan, Dave Stewart & Barbara Gaskin, and many others. He was 68. » Read more

2017-10-13
Moonjune to Distribute Tony Levin's Back Catalog – It has been announced that Moonjune will now handle distribution for Tony Levin's catalog of releases. These great albums will now be a bit easier to get hold of, so check out the site and see what you're missing. The veteran of King Crimson and Stick Men worked with a host of great players on these albums, and we've reviewed most of them over the course of the years. » Read more

2017-09-26
Bandcamp Shines Light on Niches We Like – Bandcamp has developed into one of the best places to discover new music, and even a lot of old music is showing up there. In addition, their staff has been producing periodic articles spotlighting some interesting stylistic areas. On 20 September, they published one called "The New Face of Prog Rock" which bears checking out. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Khatsaturjan - Aramed Forces of Simantipak – Listening to this new album by the Finnish band Khatsaturjan took me back to the 70s and mid-period Genesis. Aramed Forces of Simantipak is a rock symphony lasting almost 70 minutes. Though I am not...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues